Citation: Ousdeese. "Once I Begin Drinking, I Cannot Stop: An Experience with Venlafaxine (Effexor) & Alcohol (exp55854)". Erowid.org. Oct 10, 2006. erowid.org/exp/55854
I began taking Effexor under the supervision of my psychiatrist in order to relieve an episode of major depression and also to try to put a handle on my social anxiety. After 2 weeks I reached a dosage of 150 mgs per day, where I have stayed. The Effexor was very effective in relieving my depression - I felt like I was on my way to getting better instantly, as soon as I took the first pill. It however did little for my anxiety, which I still suffer from. I have been a daily marijuana user for some years and I noticed no difference in the effects of smoking while on Effexor. Before taking Effexor, I hardly ever drank, because it was not enjoyable for me - I would drink two drinks and then fall asleep. Drinking did not help me much in covering up my social anxiety. But on Effexor, drinking became my favorite activity. On Effexor I can drink all night long – and it is incredibly rewarding. Alcohol in combination with Effexor turns me into a social butterfly with incredible energy. No longer do I pass out after consuming alcohol.
In fact, drinking in combination with Effexor is so rewarding that I feel that I have become addicted to alcohol. Once I begin drinking, I cannot stop, I feel that I need more and more alcohol. After I’ve had a drink, all I can think about is having another one – I feel like I am fiending for it, similar to the feeling I had when I had a problem with cocaine. Although Effexor’s manufacturer states that Effexor is not contraindicated with alcohol, the manufacturer “recommends avoiding alcohol” while taking the medication. I could not find any information as to WHY it is recommended that people avoid alcohol, but maybe Effexor contributes to alcoholism in some people. I am submitting this report as a warning to those taking this chemical, especially those who have had problems with addiction in the past. I see in myself a pattern of behavior that is not healthy and difficult to control.
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